The Magnificent Seven (1960) 3.57/5 (1)
3.57/51

 

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Rating: The Good – 74.9
Genre: Western
Duration: 128 mins
Director: John Sturges
Screenplay: William Roberts
Stars: Yul Brynner, Steve McQueen, Charles Bronson, Eli Wallach

A town of frightened peasants hire an eclectic band of gunslingers to ward off Eli Wallach’s nasty raiding party. Given the stature in which this film is held it has arguably been somewhat overrated. The brilliance of the story has obviously been lifted straight from Kurosawa’s masterpiece Seven Samurai so there’s no credit due on that front and, if anything, some of the scenarios don’t make sense from the perspective of the old west. For example, the idea that James Coburn’s character is a Musashi type figure who’s only interested in the perfection of his art doesn’t sit right for a western gunslinger. However, despite some translation problems the film is deserving of much of its praise due to the great ensemble cast led by Yul Brynner’s magnetism and Steve McQueen’s showmanship. Elmer Bernstein’s score is epic and John Sturges’ direction certainly resulted in one of the most beautiful westerns ever shot. The final showdown doesn’t disappoint either although it holds little of the poignancy of its jidaigeki predecessor.

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